Jul 15 2014

Les Murray signs off from SBS

lesmurray_0001Les Murray, one of the first presenters on SBS, has made his final sign-off from the network as its coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup has wound up.

A newspaper journalist in the early 1970s, Murray had been a commentator of the Philips Soccer League when the former 0-10 Network had broadcast rights in the late 1970s. It was a league that was generally only afforded off-peak broadcast coverage before the network dumped it after only two years.

He was then a part-time Hungarian subtitler when SBS, then Channel 0/28, was preparing for its first official broadcast in 1980. Just days before the channel launched on air in Sydney and Melbourne, he was seconded to commentate (with the late Johnny Warren) the new channel’s first sports telecast — the Philips Soccer League Grand Final from Canberra.

Ever since then Murray has been a name synonymous with football in Australia and on SBS. At a time when football, or soccer, barely had a profile in Australia, Murray and SBS led its growth in popularity. For over 20 years he hosted the weekly program World Soccer and has fronted SBS’ coverage of the last eight World Cups, starting in 1986 when broadcast rights were shared with ABC.

Murray has also hosted other sports programs for SBS including On The Ball, Toyota World Sports and The World Game.

He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for services to soccer in Australia.

He says he will continue to be involved in the sport and may return to SBS in the future for guest appearances.

Source: SBSSBS, It’s An Honour, Wikipedia, Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/07/les-murray-signs-off-from-sbs.html

Jul 13 2014

1994: July 9-15

Summer Bay shock!tvweek_090794
Despite recent turbulent times in their relationship, Home And Away‘s Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) are to become engaged in episodes to air this week. Shane takes Angel to a jewellery store and he asks her whether she likes a specific ring, then pops the question. Angel doesn’t say yes immediately and fans will need to wait a few episodes to find out why. But despite the smiles of the happy couple, not everyone in Summer Bay is happy about the engagement. “The adults don’t like the idea, and Alf (Ray Meagher) tries to turn her off it,” George told TV Week. For fans it will still be a while before they see their favourite couple tie the knot. “She agrees to marry him only after they finish their HSC,” George said. “Angel’s a sensible girl!”

Law’s appealing new cast
A major shake-up is coming to Nine‘s Law Of The Land with a raft of new cast members. Joining original cast member Lisa Hensley are Peter O’Brien (Neighbours, The Flying Doctors), Michael O’Neill (GP), Ally Fowler (Sons And Daughters, Neighbours) and Tessa Humphries (Sons And Daughters). O’Brien, who has returned from working in the UK, was initially reluctant to commit to another series. “I’ve got to say that it can be really s***house doing a long-running job,” he told TV Week. “I get bored very easily. It can also be difficult if you’re forced to work with someone who is hard to get along with. As far as Law Of The Land is concerned, there hasn’t been the slightest problem. The cast is great and the storylines have certainly kept me interested.” O’Brien comes into Law Of The Land as hot shot lawyer Andy Cochrane and it is revealed that Andy and Kate (Lisa Hensley) had a fling when they were younger, leading to an underlying sexual tension between them. Law Of The Land returns with a two-hour episode before settling into a regular one-hour timeslot.

Terry and Moya talk (cop) shop!moyaosullivanterencedonovan
It will be a brief reunion for former Cop Shop stars Terence Donovan and Moya O’Sullivan as they cross paths on the set of Neighbours. Just as O’Sullivan joins the series as Marlene Kratz, Donovan’s four-year stint as Doug Willis is coming to a close, but he is unsure how the writers will determine Doug’s exit. “If they like you, they blow you up and kill you,” he told TV Week. “If they really like you, they send you away to Darwin or Tasmania — just in case they want to resurrect you as a long-long brother.” O’Sullivan fondly remembers their time on Cop Shop. “It was enjoyable working together all those years ago on Cop Shop,” she said. Donovan added, “Cop Shop was a very bright team of people, an older team who were fun-loving and close knit.”

Briefly…

  • The Nine Network‘s drama slate for 1995 continues to grow. Latest title to join the list is a two-hour telemovie, Emergency, from the Grundy Organisation. Emergency is set in the casualty ward of a large hospital and is the story of a young doctor facing the stress of dealing with a string of emergencies that not only dominate his working hours, but his private life as well. Other projects on the go for Nine include six The Feds telemovies, two Singapore Sling telemovies plus The Violent Earth, The Fatal Shore, Drover’s Girls, Halifax fp, a third series of Law Of The Land and children’s series Spellbinder.
  • Two major storylines are planned for Home And Away that will hopefully boost ratings before the end of the year. Roxy Miller (Lisa Lackey) is believed to be involved in a storyline relating to breast cancer, while Summer Bay’s popular couple Pippa (Debra Lawrance) and Michael (Dennis Coard) are expected to separate.
  • Neighbours star Julie Mullins is leaving the series after two years playing busybody Julie Martin. Martin will film her last scenes later this month but will be seen on screen until September. Her character exits the series in dramatic episode to be filmed on location in country Victoria.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

thebattlers“‘Slow’ and ‘predictable’ usually don’t go with ‘thoroughly enjoyable’, but that’s the way it panned out for me with The Battlers (starring Marcus Graham and Gary Sweet, pictured). Even without the benefit of having read the late Kylie Tennant‘s novel about itinerant life during the Great Depression, on which this South Australian Film Corporation production is based, the outcome of the mini-series becomes inevitable almost the minute you see the first few frames, and there’s not a lot of surprise in between.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 9-15):
FIFA World Cup: SBS’ coverage this week includes First (1.30am Sunday) and Second (5am Sunday) Quarter-Finals, Quarter Final B (1.30am Monday), Quarter Final A (5am Monday), First Semi-Final (5.30am Thursday) and Semi-Final (9am Thursday). SBS also screens official FIFA World Cup films from 1966 (7.30pm Saturday), 1970 (7pm Tuesday), 1974 (7pm Wednesday) and 1982 (7pm Friday).

Saturday: The 1953 film Jedda (12pm, ABC) and 1980 film Manganinnie (12.30pm, SBS) are screened as NAIDOC Week comes to a close. In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Matron Sloan (Joan Sydney) has concerns for a young intellectually disabled girl when she arrives for a regular check up.

Sunday: Sunday afternoon AFL includes Sydney Swans versus Brisbane (1pm, Seven), live from Sydney, and West Coast Eagles versus Essendon (4pm, Seven), live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Adrift (Seven), Folks (Nine) and K9 (repeat, Ten).

ronnieburnsMonday: Ronnie Burns‘ (pictured) new game show Strike It Lucky (5pm, Nine) makes its debut. In Talk To The Animals (7.30pm, Seven), Kelly Pummeroy meets the handler responsible for training a dog featured in the mini-series The Battlers, Dr Harry Cooper takes one of his horses to a special clinic, and Jane Holmes visits the Sydney Aquarium to see an exhibition designed to highlight the potential effect of pollution on the Great Barrier Reef. In the two-hour series return of Law Of The Land (8.30pm, Nine), the townsfolk of Merringanee are rocked by a death and are divided by businessman Michael Delaney’s (Michael O’Neill) plans for the town.

Tuesday: Former Paradise Beach star Raelee Hill guest stars in Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven). In GP (8.30pm, ABC), a hyperactive five-year-old has William (Michael Craig) confused.

Wednesday: In a special one-hour episode of Money (8pm, Nine), Paul Clitheroe looks at the vital decisions we all need to make whether we are 16 or 60, and covers superannuation, mortgages and other investments. World Series Debating (8.30pm, ABC) covers the topic That Beauty Is Better Than Brains, featuring Wendy Harmer, Tim Ferguson, Margaret Scott, Jean Kittson, Ita Buttrose and Lex Marinos. Two-part mini-series The Battlers (8.30pm, Seven) makes its debut, starring Gary Sweet, Jacqueline McKenzie, Marcus Graham and Peter Stonham.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Sarah (Laura Vasquez) has some bad news about her father. Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten) reports that chicken manure may be the fuel of the future. In Getaway (7.30pm, Nine), Jeff Watson cycles through a Cairns rainforest, and Rebecca Harris gives an Aussie guide to surviving Paris.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) prepares to ask Angel (Melissa George) the big question. In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), guest presenter Ann-Marie Biggar visits Lanyon Homestead, Frankie J Holden explores the Great Barrier Reef without getting sea-sick, and Andrew Dwyer shows Bridget Adams how to cook Singapore chilli yabbies using a wok on a campfire.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 9 July 1994. Southdown Press.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/07/1994-july-9-15.html

Jul 10 2014

ABC1 becoming ABC — and #ourABC

ourABCOn 20 July, six years after the launch of the ABC1 brand, ABC‘s main channel is reverting back to its former ABC branding.

The broadcaster says the change is in response to market research which indicated that viewers still refer to the main channel as “the ABC” rather than “ABC1″.

It also follows a similar move by the UK’s ITV network which changed ITV1 back to just ITV last year.

The name change of ABC1 to ABC will coincide with a new on-screen presentation and series of station idents utilising footage from the broadcaster’s online regional community, ABC Open, as well as featuring ABC personalities.

“We’ve captured absolute gold using real-life Aussies in our idents,” said Diana Costantini, ABC Television Head of Marketing and Communications. “This rebrand is about providing a stage and the magic comes from authenticity, diversity and a few damn fine yarns as told by colourful Australian characters.”

The new idents will be accompanied by an updated version of the Hunters And Collectors song Throw Your Arms Around Me and a new tagline — #ourABC — which will encourage audiences to share ideas and engage in discussion. The hashtag will also lead audiences to a new online destination to launch on 20 July.

“Now more than ever, ABC Television needs to be relevant to all Australians and our new positioning and branding demonstrates the role of our main channel beautifully,” said Richard Finlayson, ABC Director of Television. “ABC also acts as our gateway to more targeted content on ABC2, ABC4Kids, ABC3, ABC News 24 and increasingly ABC iview. There really is something for everyone on ABC Television – everywhere, every day.”

YouTube: ABC, ABC

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/07/abc1-becoming-abc-and-ourabc.html

Jul 08 2014

Ten’s 50 Years Young

ten_50yearsNetwork Ten is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the special, 50 Years Young.

Hosted by The Project’s Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar the special will look at the memorable shows and moments from Ten’s 50 years on air.

“I’m thrilled to be co-hosting 50 Years Young with Peter Helliar. As a child I used to watch It’s A Knockout with my family and we would try and use inflatable pool toys and fun things to create our own version of the show in the backyard,” Bickmore said — while Helliar is looking forward to revisiting one particular Neighbours moment: “I’m looking forward to looking back on some iconic Ten moments. Carrie and I can’t wait to recreate Scott and Charlene’s wedding as the centrepiece of our hosting duties.”

Appearing in the special are Dr Chris Brown, Sandra Sully, Johnny Young, Chrissie Swan, Denise Drysdale, Claudia Karvan, Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, Samuel Johnson, Osher Gunsberg, Jennifer Hansen, Steve Vizard, Dave Hughes, Bruce Mansfield, Terence Donovan, Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Toni Pearen, Ed Phillips and the cast of Neighbours.

The program will also reveal the results of the viewer poll of Ten’s top 50 favourite shows of all time.

50 Years Young. Friday 8 August, 7.30pm. Sunday 3 August, 6.30pm. Network Ten

YouTube: TenInsider

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/07/tens-50-years-young.html

Jul 06 2014

1994: July 2-8

tvweek_020794Cover: Teri Hatcher, Dean Cain (Lois And Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman)

Tide turns for Paradise
Village Roadshow, producers of Nine‘s recently-axed Paradise Beach, are in negotiations with Network Ten over a possible deal to revive the series — similar to what Ten has recently done by taking on A Country Practice after it was axed by Seven, and a decade after doing the same with Neighbours. The deal could see Ten take on the series for a mere $25,000 an episode, plus receiving profits from overseas sales.

Eddie’s on the ball!
The surprise success of Nine‘s new The Footy Show (AFL) has made a star out of its host, former Network Ten sports reporter Eddie McGuire. But McGuire is not getting too carried away with his new found fame. “I’ve seen too many of the stars come in and fall away,” he said. “I don’t see this as an overnight sensation. I like to see this as my career and I hope to be around for a long while yet.” McGuire said he had no plans to leave Ten to join Nine, and had refused earlier offers to do so, but the promise of The Footy Show and other projects were the deal maker. “I wanted to go over and walk into a position I wanted to do. Nine is the number one station, but it was The Footy Show first and foremost that made me move. I’d been pushing for a couple of years at Ten for a similar type of show.”

michaelaitkensAll the write moves!
Michael Aitkens (pictured), a familiar face on Australian TV with roles in shows including Power Without Glory, The Truckies and A Country Practice, is enjoying a new life in London with Australian wife, actress Veronica Lang. Aitkens is currently writing two series for the BBCA Class Act, starring Joanna Lumley and Australian Nadine Garner, and comedy Waiting For God. One of his earliest writing success was the ABC series Trial By Marriage. He’d also written for A Country Practice — inadvertently killing off a character played by Lang. “We had a dip in the ratings and I thought, ‘Let’s shake things up a bit”,” he told TV Week. “I forgot the character was played by my good lady wife, so we gave her a really exotic disease and ran her into a tree!” He also admits that he once played Garner’s dad in The Henderson Kids. “That series made me decide to give up acting. I was playing with all these people who came up to my knees and didn’t want to go to the pub afterwards. I thought, ‘This is the end!’.”

Holidays for $50 a day? Getaway!
In an upcoming episode of travel series Getaway, reporters Rebecca Harris, Jeff Watson, Tina Dalton and new recruit Jane Rutter will uncover some of the cheapest deals for tourism, dining and outdoor experiences. “In Noosa we went out on a fishing boat, and if there’s six of you it’s only $5 each — and for that you get half a day on the water with fishing lines, bait and the bucket thrown in,” Harris said. “Then we did a cycling tour out of Cairns with the Jolly Frog company, which was $10 for the bike and helmet — a great way to meet people.” Then there was the surprise of a place in Surfer’s Paradise. “This was only $14 a night, with plenty of activities.”

Briefly…

  • Neighbours star Caroline Gillmer is reported to be discussing plans with Grundys for an upcoming Nine Network telemovie based on the true story of forbidden love between a prison officer and a prisoner, with the officer aiding the prisoner and another inmate to escape from the Melbourne Remand Centre in 1993. The telemovie — with working titles Unchained and Better Than Nothing At All — is set to screen in 1995.
  • Natalie Imbruglia is making a return to Neighbours for a three-week guest stint. The story will see her character Beth return to Ramsay Street to see Gaby’s (Rachel Blakely) new baby. Imbruglia has also recently scored a guest role in Nine sitcom The Bob Morrison Show.
  • Actress Heather Mitchell will fly to Poland with her husband, cinematographer Martin McGrath, to begin work on a new 26-part children’s series being made by Film Australia for the Nine Network.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“A couple of weeks ago, I made a note here to stay with The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh. After its difficult birth — which was well documented here and in other places — it had made an encouraging start to its on-screen life. I mean, here was a black comedy which paid scant regard to any of the recognised television formulas, and which had a young known in the lead role and just about every scene. But The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh has beaten all those odds to establish itself as a genuine little gem.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, July 2-8):
FIFA World Cup: SBS’ coverage of the FIFA World Cup continues with live match coverage on Sunday through to Wednesday mornings. SBS also screens classic FIFA World Cup official films on Saturday (1954), Thursday (1958) and Friday (1962) nights.

Saturday: Monica Maughan, starring in ABC’s The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh, guest stars in A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten).

Sunday: SBS begins nightly half-hour coverage of the Tour de France (6pm). Sunday night movies are Victim Of Love (Seven), Curly Sue (repeat, Nine) and Single White Female (Ten). The Men’s Singles Final of Wimbledon is broadcast live (10.40pm, Nine).

Monday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) fear their romantic getaway may never eventuate. In Frontline (8pm, ABC), Mike (Rob Sitch) is worried about his lack of profile and his attempts to raise it cause more worries for Brian (Bruno Lawrence).

moyaosullivanTuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl’s (Caroline Gillmer) mother Marlene Kratz (Moya O’Sullivan, pictured) arrives in Ramsay Street. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), the South African-born parents of Zoe’s (Janelle Owen) face the dilemma of returning to a new South Africa.

Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), with his father and brother in jail, Rivers (Scott Major) is the man of the house and has to look after his alcoholic mum. In Hey Dad! (8pm, Seven), as Tracey’s (Belinda Emmett) new boyfriend is 30, she lies about her age and tells him she’s 23.

Thursday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Pam (Sue Jones) and Doug (Terence Donovan) prepare for the new-age bikie festival. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Alf (Ray Meagher) is adamant that Jack (Daniel Amalm) is responsible for the graffiti at the surf club. In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Dr Caroline West previews the spectacular astronomical crash expected to happen in mid-July when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 will collide with Jupiter. In The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh (8.30pm, ABC), Harvey (Aaron Blabey) gets a job with the Police Department’s Art Union.

Friday: In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), guest reporter Ann-Marie Biggar gets a birds-eye view of Canberra, Frankie J Holden visits Barrington Tops Guesthouse in the Hunter Valley, Ernie Dingo visits Channon Markets in the Tweed Valley, and Penny Cook continues her Kakadu journey.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 2 July 1994. Southdown Press.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/07/1994-july-2-8.html

Jul 01 2014

What’s your favourite Ten show?

abigailjoehashamNetwork Ten will be celebrating its upcoming 50th anniversary with a special, 50 Years Young.

The program will feature an all-star cast of past and present Ten personalities, including Rove McManus, Bert Newton, Dr Chris Brown, Carrie Bickmore, Peter Helliar, Sandra Sully, Johnny Young, Chrissie Swann, Denise Drysdale, Claudia Karvan, Ryan “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, Samuel Johnson, Osher Gunsberg, Jennifer Hansen, Jo Stanley, Steve Vizard, Dave Hughes, Bruce Mansfield, Terence Donovan, Ian “Dicko” Dickson, Toni Pearen, Ed Phillips and the cast of Neighbours.

Ten has also put together a list of 50 favourite shows from the past 50 years and has opened the votes for viewers to name their all-time top 10.

nancycato_0005The list goes back to the earliest days of the network with children’s program The Magic Circle Club (featuring Nancy Cato, pictured right) and pop music show Go! both featured. Dramas include Number 96 (starring Abigail and Joe Hasham, pictured above), Matlock Police, The Box, Prisoner, Chopper Squad, The Restless Years, Carson’s Law, The Henderson Kids, E Street, Heartbreak High and Neighbours, through to The Secret Life Of Us, Puberty Blues and Offspring.

Mini-series are represented by The Dismissal, Bodyline, Return To Eden, Bangkok Hilton, Vietnam and Day Of The Roses. As well as The Magic Circle Club, other children’s titles include Simon Townsend’s Wonder World, The Early Bird Show, Ridgey Didge, Mulligrubs and Totally Wild.

Variety and light entertainment shows include Blankety Blanks, Pot O’ Gold, Young Talent Time, It’s A Knockout, Perfect Match, The Comedy Company, Good News Week, The Panel, Talkin’ ’bout Your Generation, Rove and Thank God You’re Here.

masterchef_julie_pohDaytime shows Good Morning Australia, Aerobics Oz Style, Video Hits and Beauty And The Beast have made the list, while reality TV is well represented with Big Brother, Australian Idol, MasterChef Australia (pictured) and The Biggest Loser.

Slapstick comedy Let The Blood Run Free, magazine show Healthy Wealthy And Wise, factual series Bondi Rescue and The Project complete the top 50 list.

You can vote your top 10 favourites at Ten Play and the results will be featured in 50 Years Young.

An airdate for the program has yet to be announced.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/07/whats-your-favourite-ten-show-2.html

Jun 29 2014

Obituary: Greg Coote

gregcooteFilm and television executive and producer Greg Coote has died in Los Angeles at the age of 72. He had been ill with cancer.

Australian-born Coote started his career in the mailroom at Village Roadshow and worked his way up to become managing director. He then left the company to become managing director of Rupert Murdoch‘s Network Ten in 1981. At Ten he was integral in boosting the network’s rating position — leading with big-budget dramas and mini-series including The Dismissal, Waterfront, The Last Bastion, The Dunera Boys, The Cowra Breakout and Bodyline. The network was also boosted by a higher news and sports profile and the launch of popular light entertainment programs, including Perfect Match.

By the mid-1980s Coote had left Ten and partnered with Roadshow and Matt Carroll to form production company Roadshow Coote And Carroll, responsible for TV productions including ArcherThe Challenge, A Long Way From Home, Army Wives, Brides Of Christ, Law Of The Land, Pacific Drive and the long-running ABC series GP.

Coote later became founding president and CEO of the newly-listed Village Roadshow Pictures in Los Angeles. He then became chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment, the company which co-financed more than 60 films, including the hit Avatar.

At the time of his death he was working with Larrikin Entertainment, a production and development venture formed in partnership with David Calvert-Jones.

A funeral for Coote is scheduled for 2 July in Santa Monica with a memorial service to follow in Sydney at a later date.

Greg Coote is survived by partner Amanda Price, brothers, Alan and Paul, four children and four grandchildren as well as his first and second wives.

Source: Media Day. IMDB. IFGood Weekend, 7 October 1989.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/obituary-greg-coote.html

Jun 29 2014

1994: June 25-July 1

tvweek_250694Lisa’s still dogged by doubts
Despite the success of Blue Heelers and the popularity of her character, Maggie Doyle, actress Lisa McCune (pictured) still worries about her performance. “It’s been a year since we made the pilot, but every Monday morning I still get nervous,” she says. “I get to work and think, ‘Can I really do this?’.” But a friendly, supportive crew and cast helps, she adds. So does the fact that there are no romances between cast members. “When we started the show, we all realised no-one was interested in anyone else in the cast. There was no-go with any of us.”

Four weddings and a fun role!
Actor Richard Piper says he is the perfect candidate for playing the part of divorced man Lex Dexter in Seven‘s upcoming comedy series Wedlocked — he has been divorced three times. “I can go back over my own life and put some of what’s happened to me into the show,” he told TV Week. Wedlocked is the story of two divorced men (played by Piper and Brandon Burke) who share a house. Into their comfortable, uneventful lives comes a wild Italian woman (played by Dina Panozzo) to ensure they are never bored again. Wedlocked is due to go into production in August.

mattdoranAnd away we go…!
Home And Away stars John Adam and Matt Doran (pictured) are both leaving the show. Adam’s character Luke Cunningham exits Summer Bay following a romance with Fisher’s (Norman Coburn) daughter Rebecca (Danielle Carter). “Luke’s departure has really more to do with family reasons than a broken heart,” Adam told TV Week. Meanwhile, Doran (Damian Roberts in the series) will exit after two-and-a-half years when his contract expires in October. “I’m not disappointed because this is how soapies work — bringing in people, keeping them there, picking up ratings, taking them out and then bringing in fresh faces again to keep them (ratings) up,” Doran told TV Week. “I really enjoyed the time I had here.”

TV stars in the horrors
Blue Heelers star Lisa McCune and former The Flying Doctors star Brett Climo lead the cast in the new Australian horror-comedy film Body Melt. The film also stars McCune’s Blue Heelers co-star William McInnes, Andrew Daddo, Gerard Kennedy, Tiffany Lamb, Rosemary Margan and former Neighbours star Ian Smith. “If you were an actor who took yourself incredibly seriously, then you’d never have done this film,” McCune told TV Week. “It really was a fun thing to do.” In one scene, McCune’s character Cheryl loses her placenta, which shoots across the room and attacks her husband (Climo). “I loved that scene,” McCune said. “When I read it in the script I thought, ‘Oh my goodness… oops!’.” Andrew Daddo could hardly contain his laughter when he was asked to take part. “The film takes a lot of well known people and kills them — there’s something really glorious about that,” he said. “You are never going to see this sort of s*** going on in Neighbours.”

Briefly…

  • The Nine Network has a list of drama projects for 1995. Mini-series Violent Earth, set in New Caledonia, is being produced by Crawfords Australia. Also in planning is a $10 million adaptation of Robert Hughes‘ book The Fatal Shore, to be a co-production between Nine, Village Roadshow Pictures, Turner Network Television and British Sky Broadcasting. Nine also has three two-hour telemovies with the working title Drover’s Girls, to begin filming in the new year. The telemovies tell the story of Julia Morgan, a 23-year-old who enlists the help of eight women to run a cattle station she has taken over from her estranged father. Plus there are the six The Feds telemovies are two Singapore Sling telemovies.
  • Doug Mulray, famously dumped by Kerry Packer during the screening of the one-off Australia’s Naughtiest Home Video Show in 1992, is about to launch a new Saturday night show, Mulray, on Seven. “We’ll be live, spontaneous and wacky and they (other channels) will be showing movies with Clint Eastwood. I imagine. He usually pops up on a Saturday night, old Clint,” Mulray told TV Week. He credits Packer for giving him a national profile. “I was an unknown (outside Sydney) until Mr Packer lent his extraordinary well-known name to my cause.”
  • The Little Squirt, an episode of children’s series Round The Twist, has won the Prix Jeunesse award for excellence in children’s television. “It’s the most prestigious award one can win in children’s television,” Round The Twist star Mark Mitchell told TV Week. “Children’s television has always been the poor relation. For a sane and healthy society you need to get children’s television right.”
  • kerryarmstrong_0003Kerry Armstrong (pictured) says she couldn’t resist the offer of a role as a plumber in Nine‘s The Bob Morrison Show. “I thought it would be very confusing for viewers to see Beth Sumner (the character she played in All Together Now) in the Morrison house,” she told TV Week. Armstrong said that working at Nine always feels like coming home. “I started my career at Channel 9 doing the weather,” she said. Also joining the cast of The Bob Morrison Show is former Neighbours star Natalie Imbruglia. “The only bad thing about my role is that I don’t have any scenes with gorgeous Bob!,” she told TV Week.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“If you like your police dramas slick and formularised, then this is not for you. If you like them slightly gritty, but still with a rakish hero — such as NYPD Blue‘s Detective John Kelly (David Caruso) — then this probably isn’t for you, either. But if you fancy a police series that’s written with flair, that is uncompromising and in which the regular characters are flawed, then Between The Lines comes with my wholehearted recommendation. Between The Lines, from the BBC, is not the type of fare usually associated with prime-time slots on commercial networks in Australia. Hopefully, it might be the start of something.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, June 25-July 1):
FIFA World Cup: SBS’ coverage of the FIFA World Cup from the US continues this week — with mid-morning and overnight telecasts of matches through to Wednesday, and one match on Friday morning. Nightly highlights packages continue to screen 7.30pm and 11.00pm.

Saturday: The Rugby Union Second Test — Australia versus Italy — is broadcast from Melbourne (2pm, Ten). In A Country Practice (7.30pm, Ten), Ian (Paul Gleeson) brings home a destitute, pregnant woman and becomes emotionally involved when he helps deliver the baby — but Claire (Claudia Black) has suspicions about the woman.

Sunday: Sunday AFL includes Brisbane Bears versus Collingwood (2pm, Seven), live from Brisbane, and highlights of Essendon versus Sydney Swans (5pm, Seven), from the MCG. Sunday night movies are Fortress (Seven), Batman Returns (repeat, Nine) and My Cousin Vinny (Ten).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Pam (Sue Jones) is horrified to find Dave (Ivar Kants) posing nude for Helen’s (Anne Haddy) sketches. In Healthy Wealthy And Wise (7.30pm, Ten), Lyn Talbot joins a camel safari, Peter Wherrett discovers that the days of the grease monkeys are being replaced by comprehensive electronics, Jim Brown visits South Australia’s Murray Riverland, and Ronnie Burns is up a ladder clearing gutters.

Tuesday: In Blue Heelers (7.30pm, Seven), when a bag of snakes ends up on the enquiries desk, there are signs of illegal snake trapping. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), while on work experience, Donna (Tracie Sammut) makes friends with an intellectually disabled girl, Vicki (Nicolle Dickson).

Wednesday: In Heartbreak High (7.30pm, Ten), Stella’s (Peta Toppano) ex-husband arrives to surprise everyone, trying to convince everyone he has changed when really he hasn’t. In Hey Dad! (8pm, Seven), Betty (Julie McGregor) moves to a new flat but a mix-up with the removalists leads to her furniture going to Queensland while she is landed with somebody else’s collection of antiques.

Thursday: TVTV (6.30pm, ABC), the nightly discussion program about television, makes its final appearance… for now. In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Iain Finlay investigates a system which will eliminate every shopper’s nightmare — supermarket check-out queues, while Anthony Griffis looks at how a NASA space suit is helping MS sufferers, and Andrew Waterworth reports on new inflight map information for pilots. In The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh (8.30pm, ABC), Harvey (Aaron Blabey) is rumoured to be gay.

Friday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Doug (Terence Donovan) has a new room mate who bores everyone to tears. In Rex Hunt’s The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Penny Cook visits Kakadu National Park after the wet season, Frankie J Holden takes a ride on the River Cat from Circular Quay to Parramatta, guest reporter Ann-Maree Biggar visits Canberra, and Bridget Adams discovers an underwater world.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 25 June 1994. Southdown Press.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/1994-june-25-july-1.html

Jun 26 2014

Obituary: Ian Cook

iancookIan Cook, executive with Sky News Australia, has died at the age of 68. He had been battling illness for some years.

Sky News CEO Angelos Frangopoulos paid tribute to the man they called ‘Cookie’ as a great man of Australian television news and mentor to many young journalists:

“Ian was a great mentor to the many journalists at Sky News and had been a driving force in the establishment of Sky News Australia.

“Ian has left a lasting legacy in Australian journalism, guiding hundreds of young people through their careers, offering advice and support. He had a fearsome reputation for ensuring attention to detail which was driven by his passion for the craft.

“He was very much loved by all at Sky News. For me, he was both a mentor and friend. I will him miss greatly.”

Sky News Political Editor David Speers added, “‘Cookie was a great newsroom leader, never an easy job. He was also the best mentor of young journalists I’ve seen. He was always willing to tell me when I was on the right track or the wrong track.”

Over a long career Cook had also worked in senior roles at the SevenNine and Ten networks as well as Sky News in London and New Zealand. Seven CEO Tim Worner has issued a statement:

“He was spirited and talented, and he made an extraordinary contribution to journalism in Australia. He has mentored and led the development and careers of many of today’s journalists.

He played a key role at Seven News in his time at our company. And he was a powerhouse at Sky News. He was still doing great work for Sky News as recently as a few weeks ago. He and his family were and are so proud of that.

Like the fighter everyone who worked with and for him knew him to be, he fought the unbeatable right to the end.”

Source: Sky News, Mediaday

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/obituary-ian-cook.html

Jun 23 2014

Community TV’s future in question

31questionsFederal Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reported to be considering the future of community TV as the government ponders opportunities for the broadcast spectrum.

The planning of broadcasting spectrum following the closure of analogue television allows for six channels — ABC, SBS and three commercial operators — including one unallocated frequency. Community TV broadcasters are currently operating on borrowed frequencies outside of that spectrum.

Fairfax Media reports that the government is considering selling off the sixth channel spectrum to commercial bidders. It is unclear what demand there is for an additional commercial network given that one network at present is in ratings and financial trouble and the market continues to be offered new technologies for viewing options rather than traditional television.

Community TV’s path to digital transmission has long been in the ‘too hard’ basket for past federal governments of both sides of politics. The Howard Government failed to allocate any community channel access to digital broadcasting, despite national and commercial broadcasters being given free access to digital spectrum and subsidies to convert, and the Rudd Government in 2009 allowed community TV operators only temporary access until at least the end of this year.

Community TV is not a high rating platform but it does provide an alternative for viewers and an outlet for communities, producers, performers and sponsors that are rarely allowed exposure on mainstream media. The sector also provides training and experience to performers and production crew who have gone on to employment in the mainstream sector.

Source: The Age
Picture: 31 Questions

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/06/community-tvs-future-in-question.html

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